israelam news

Israel News for 2-20-18

Gaza Attacks
On Saturday, two IDF soldiers were seriously wounded and two others moderately and lightly wounded when an explosive device was set off near an IDF patrol around the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, opposite the Ein HaShlosha kibbutz.

Later Saturday night, the IDF responded by attacking 18 terror targets in Gaza. The Air Force hit an additional eight targets. Terrorists then fired another rocket into Israel, which landed on the roof of a residence in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council. The family was home, but no one was harmed as the rocket failed to explode.

On Sunday evening a rocket launched from Gaza landed in an open area in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council. In response, Israeli jets attacked and destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel in an open area in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council.

Yesterday, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman confirmed the destruction of the tunnel and said, “The incidents proved that the IDF is ready for any scenario with zero warning. It wasn’t easy to achieve this kind of capability but the fact is that we have stood up for the tests and we have known how to handle them.”

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Settler Population
According to the “West Bank Jewish Population Stats,” a report sponsored by a prominent settler organization, the Jewish population living in the West Bank is currently 435,159, up from 420,899 last year. This does not include the 200,000 Jews living in east Jerusalem.

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Train Trouble
The new high speed train from connected Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is supposed to open in late March. But engineers and safety experts are warning that if the railway launches as scheduled, there is liable to be a disaster. They say that the railway line cannot be used for passenger trains before August at the earliest.

An investigation into the matter by “Globes” found that much work remains incomplete. Laying the track is still taking place, the communications systems in the tunnels are operating only in part, electrification work has not yet been completed, and essential coordination checks between the various systems have not yet been carried out. Even worse, information obtained by “Globes” indicates that safety rules are being ignored in the feverish effort to finish the project on time, while the State Comptroller has already warned in his recent report that the rush to finish the project is liable to endanger human life.

An engineering expert said that the two most important systems that must undergo several months of testing are the electrical system and the command and control system. “If the cables touching the train are not well synchronized down to the millimeter, there is a risk of collapse – including during a journey.”

One transportation source said, “They waited a decade, and it’s too bad that they are messing up at the very end.”

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Gas Exports
Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L) and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announced today that they have signed two binding agreements to export gas to Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings Ltd. The energy companies will supply 64 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields over 10 years. The gas is worth an estimated $15 billion. The gas will be transported either through an existing pipeline or through a newly constructed one.

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Pilot Released
The F-16 pilot whose plane was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire last week was released from the hospital. The pilot, a 35-year-old resident of central Israel, was seriously wounded in the incident, but left the hospital on his own two feet, appearing in good condition. His co-pilot, a navigator, was lightly injured and released from the hospital a few hours after ejecting from the plane.

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